10 November 2009
Melanie, in your comment on my post below, you’ve touch upon a subject that concerns why I am beginning to have problems about the Bible…its translation. Full Gospel preachers will preach that it is the inherent word of God—that these words were divinely inspired. Yet, to whom were they inspired? Men of a far different cultural time than now. You cited a good example of sexism—women were treated as chattel (“an item of personal property that is not freehold land and is not intangible. Chattels are typically movable property). Women were not viewed as persons in their own right. This model had not changed until the 1920s with the 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote. Up until then, men did not believe women had the wherewithal to have an opinion, much less speak in public. That is only the situation in the United States. Look at how many cultures (e.g., the Middle East) still actually treat their women as property. Anyway, I digress…
I also agree with your statements about Paul being sexist. Paul espoused the notion that men should stay single and devote their lives to God; however, if they could not remain single (subtle inference on my part here—if men could not do without sex), then be married, but it is much better to remain single (1 Cor 7:1). My interpretation: women were only good for one thing, satisfying men’s sexual urges (one caveat here, Paul also said the same for widows as well, though). Here’s my conundrum. I am a lesbian, therefore an abomination; however, if I choose to remain single (celibate), then it is better (so am I still an abomination?). So that forces me into a life where I will never have any relationships—a pretty sad state of affairs, don’t you think? Our current government has deemed that same-sex marriages are forbidden (under DOMA). If I could be legally married, then I would not be a fornicator, yet the noose around me is that I am still queer, so therefore still an abomination.
If the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God, then who is to say that by the time the words were captured on papyrus, the men so divinely inspired did not interpret it as they saw fit according to the times in which those words were inspired. I have already mentioned in my post below how we have since dispensed with certain passages as biblical rule, but to this day, no one will even suggest that homosexuality be dispensed with at the same time because through the ages, religious zealots have seen fit to propagate the belief that homosexuals are perverts (it’s become a strong-held belief, I believe, because people saw this as “different” from their own experiences, therefore immoral). Slavery was supported in the Bible. It is no longer allowed. Interracial marriages were not approved, but only recently have the courts deemed this as racist. No one wants to touch on the hot ticket of the day which has become the litmus test for all politicians, much like abortion was in previous political battles.
Your desire to read the true translations as you study other languages may prove interesting, especially as they may show wide differences across today’s various translations. In some churches, only the old King James version is considered THE Bible. I personally have found that the NIV is more homophobic across the board than others. Good luck with your studies and thank you for taking the time to share with me your thoughts.©2009